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Best Shampoos for Oily Hair to Keep Greasy Hair at Bay

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Oily hair isn’t just an aesthetic issue; it can lead to dandruff, hair loss, and breakouts around your hairline. If you tend to have oily locks, specific products can help. We’ve compiled a list of the best shampoos for oily hair that will keep your strands shiny and clean.

Our selection considers all the unique needs of those prone to greasy hair. We included clarifying shampoos you can use once or twice a week and gentle sulfate-free shampoos for non-damaging daily washing. We even have a shopping guide to help you find the best oily hair shampoo to give your scalp the balanced cleansing it needs. 

In this article:

  • Our picks for the best shampoos for oily hair
  • How to choose the right shampoo for oily hair for you
  • FAQs

Best shampoos for oily hair overview:

How we chose the best shampoos for oily hair

We researched manufacturer specifications, focusing on shampoos recommended specifically for removing oil buildup and balancing the scalp. Looking through ingredient lists, user ratings and reviews, and calculating value based on price, we narrowed down the best shampoos for oily hair for every kind of user.

Our picks for the best shampoos for oily hair 

1. Best overall: OUAI Detox Shampoo

Best Shampoos: OUAI Detox Shampoo
What we love What we don’t love
Thoroughly cleanses without damagingA little expensive 
Can remove a lot of buildup from hairFragrance can be on the stronger side
Includes proteins to fortify the hair shaft

Key features:

  • Size: 10 oz
  • Scent: Floral
  • Sulfate-free: Yes
  • Price: $30

This balanced, deep-cleansing shampoo is our overall top pick for those with oily hair. It’s a perfect blend between clarifying and hair-fortifying, which is generally what best benefits oil-prone hair. 

This sulfate-free, silicone-free, and paraben-free formula is gentle enough to use a few times a week and works to remove buildup and excess oils. It even contains some proteins to keep the hair cuticle fortified, and the added chelating agents, which clarify the hair, will be particularly helpful to those who live in areas with hard water.

The OUAI Detox Shampoo’s main ingredients, namely the apple cider vinegar, tamarind seed extract, and chelating agents, leave the hair smelling fresh and floral. But keep in mind that some may find the scent overwhelming. This shampoo is also a little pricey, considering the amount of product in the bottle, but a little bit goes a long way. 

2. Best budget: L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo

Best Shampoos: L'Oreal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Repairing Shampoo
What we love What we don’t love
Cleanses and refines the scalp while protecting the endsContains SLES
Low priceFragrance is a little dated to some 
Cleans deeply so users can go multiple days without washing

Key features:

  • Size: 12.6 fl oz
  • Scent: Clean floral 
  • Sulfate-free: No
  • Price: $3.77

L’Oréal Paris’ Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo is our top pick for those with greasy hair on a tight budget. It’s a drugstore choice that comes in a huge bottle for a low price. And most importantly, it works well to cleanse oily hair.

The formula is designed to hydrate and protect dry ends while simultaneously clarifying the roots. It works with a blend of surfactants (the cleansing molecules that bind to oils and debris), which do a fantastic job of clarifying oily hair without stripping it of moisture. 

That said, the formula does include sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), the gentler of the two sulfates, to help deep clean the dirt and grease from your hair.

L’Oréal Paris’ rebalancing shampoo contains three different clays that further soak up excess sebum. The formula is also made with salicylic acid, which has exfoliating benefits that may help remove dead skin buildup that leads to flakiness. You’ll also find that this shampoo gives off a refreshing floral scent, though some might find it dated. 

You can count on this shampoo for a fresh and clean feel for up to 48 hours in optimal conditions, meaning you can go longer without shampooing. 

3. Best luxury: Living Proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) Triple Detox Shampoo

Best Shampoos for Oily Hair: Living Proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) Triple Detox Shampoo
What we love What we don’t love
Clarifies hair without stripping itPricey
Safe for color-treated hair Off-putting gray color 
Charcoal absorbs excess oil 

Key features:

  • Size: 5.4 oz
  • Scent: Light citrus
  • Sulfate-free: Yes
  • Price: $29

Can you really detoxify your hair? Probably not, but it’s definitely a creative way of naming a clarifying shampoo for greasy hair. This shampoo has a sulfate-free, purifying formula to remove hair product residue and hard water buildup. It even includes some charcoal, which does a great job of absorbing excess sebum from the scalp, but gives the shampoo a dark gray color that can be slightly off-putting. 

Most shampoos for oily hair include cleansing agents that can extract the color from your hair, but this specific formula is effective and color-safe. You can also alternate using it with a color-depositing shampoo to keep your dyed hair looking as vibrant as ever. 

Since Living Proof is a high-end, luxury brand, it’s a little pricey, but if you have oily hair and expensive color you want to upkeep, it’s worth the cost. It also comes in a 2-ounce travel size, so you don’t have to compromise soft and fresh hair when you’re on the go.

4. Best invigorating: Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo

Best Shampoos: Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo
What we love What we don’t love
Refreshing and invigorating to the scalpMay be too intense or drying 
Lathers easily to suit thick hairScent may smell slightly too herbal and cause tingling
Tea tree oil may help with a problematic scalpContains SLS and SLES

Key features:

  • Size: 10.1 fl oz
  • Scent: Tea tree and mint
  • Sulfate-free: No
  • Price: $16.50

If you like particularly refreshing and invigorating cleansers, Paul Mitchell’s shampoo for oily hair is a solid choice. It’s a powerfully cleansing formula with a blend of surfactants. It suds up easily and quickly, making it a manageable option even for those with thick and oily hair. 

The formula contains essential oils that stimulate the scalp, like antibacterial tea tree oil (which may also combat dandruff), cooling mint, and soothing lavender. The scent is fresh, natural, and herbal, producing a refreshing, tingling sensation on the scalp. 

While the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special is an oil-busting shampoo, it also contains panthenol and wheat germ oil, which provide the hair with some moisturizing effects. Even so, these moisturizing ingredients aren’t enough on their own, so you may want to follow up with the brand’s Tea Tree Special Conditioner for extra hydration. 

5. Best clarifying: Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo

Best Shampoos for Oily Hair: Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo
What we love What we don’t love
Removes product and hard water buildupNot appropriate for color-treated hair
Appropriate for those who only cleanse 1-2 times per week May be drying
Attractive packaging and brandingContains SLES

Key features:

  • Size: 8.5 fl oz
  • Scent: Herbal
  • Sulfate-free: No
  • Price: $30

Bumble and Bumble is a brand that nails quality products with attractive branding. The name Sunday Shampoo is catchy but also has a distinct meaning — it’s a clarifying shampoo designed to be used just once a week on deep-cleaning days. 

It removes all sorts of buildup, including the remnants of hard water, pollution, product buildup, and excess sebum. For those with oily hair who like using various hair products and don’t want to wash their hair often, Sunday Shampoo is an outstanding choice for thorough cleansing. 

Remember to follow up with a moisturizing conditioner to give your ends a treat since the shampoo can be drying. It’s also worth noting that because it’s so strong, Sunday Shampoo isn’t ideal for color-treated hair. 

6. Best plant-based: Klorane Detox Shampoo With Aquatic Mint

Best Shampoos for Oily Hair: Klorane Anti-Pollution Detox Shampoo with Aquatic Mint
What we love What we don’t love
Removes environmental buildup and polluting particlesMint ingredient can result in a tingly feeling on the scalp
Gentle, plant-based, and biodegradable formula Polarizing smell 
Appropriate for colored hair 

Key features:

  • Size: 13.5 fl oz
  • Scent: Mint
  • Sulfate-free: Yes
  • Price: $20

Klorane’s non-stripping shampoo for oily hair removes environmental buildup while protecting and deeply cleansing your hair and scalp. Most people aren’t aware of the damage that your hair endures from pollution, but this shampoo claims it can get rid of 97% of those pollutants. 

This formula is apt for color-treated hair of all textures and types. The liquid is lightweight, sulfate-free, and plant-based, making it appropriate for thick hair, too. Since it contains mint, be aware that it can make your scalp tingle a little — it can be refreshing, but it’s not for everyone. The primarily plant-based formula also boasts a natural mint fragrance that many love but may be unappealing to some.

7. Best volumizing: Rahua Voluminous Shampoo

Best Shampoos for Oily Hair: Rahua Voluminous Shampoo
What we love What we don’t love
Suds up nicely for thorough, gentle cleansingPricey 
Infused with herbal extracts to nourish the scalpAwkward bottle 
Adds volume to the hair 

Key features:

  • Size: 9.3 fl oz
  • Scent: Lavender and eucalyptus
  • Sulfate-free: Yes
  • Price: $36

If you’re interested in herbal-infused hair products, give this luxurious, natural shampoo for oily hair a try. This volumizing formula is infused with herbal extracts like balancing lemongrass, calming lavender, invigorating eucalyptus, and more. 

Rahua Voluminous Shampoo will cleanse your hair and scalp, removing excess oil with a blend of gentle surfactants. It lathers nicely and is infused with hydrating glycerin and proteins to provide your hair with a bit of a lift. The formula also contains Ungurahua oil, which is rich in omega-9 to fortify the hair follicles and soothe the scalp. 

The soft scent of lavender and the herbal touch of eucalyptus offers a pleasant, natural fragrance to your hair. We only wish the shampoo came in a bottle with a more convenient dispenser. 

8. Best gentle: Verb Ghost Shampoo

Best Shampoos for Oily Hair: Verb Ghost Shampoo
What we love What we don’t love
Lightweight and gentle enough for daily washingNot cleansing enough for less frequent use
Appropriate for damaged or brittle hair Those with extremely oily hair might not find it as effective as other options on this list
UV-protective with fortifying ingredients

Key features:

  • Size: 12 fl oz
  • Scent: Grapefruit and oatmeal
  • Sulfate-free: Yes
  • Price: $20

This is one of the most gentle shampoos for oily hair, with a cleansing formula that’s not too aggressive. If you prefer washing your hair every day or find that your hair can get pretty brittle (despite being oily), then this is the best shampoo to try.

This formula includes moringa seed oil as a natural smoothing agent for frizz control and healthy shine. You know what that means — it’s an excellent choice for curly hair.

This shampoo also contains sunflower seed extract to provide natural UV protection and maintain your hair color. Other ingredients include rice and quinoa proteins which fortify brittle strands. That said, even though most users find this formula quite fortifying, some reviewers do note that it leaves the ends of their hair feeling a little dry. 

We generally don’t recommend using shampoo on the ends of your hair, anyway, but if you feel like it’s necessary, you may prefer an even more moisturizing formula like our pick from Rahua. 

Last but not least, we love this shampoo’s light and fresh citrus fragrance.

9. Best exfoliating: Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo

Best Dry Scalp Treatment Products: Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo
What we love What we don’t love
Cleanses and exfoliatesExpensive 
Improves flakiness and itchinessDoesn’t suds up 
Essential oil blend may help with dandruff 

Key features:

  • Size: 8 oz
  • Scent: Tea tree, mint, and coconut
  • Sulfate-free: Yes
  • Price: On sale $33.60 (Orig. $42)

If your scalp gets flaky or itchy, this is the best shampoo for greasy hair with an exfoliating formula. It’s a 2-in-1 that cleanses the oil from your roots while removing dead skin buildup from your scalp with physical exfoliation. Think of it as a facial but for your scalp.

This shampoo from Briogeo is made with cellulose exfoliating beads, which are thoroughly exfoliating (as the name suggests) yet relatively gentle. The formula also features oil-absorbing charcoal and essential oils, including tea tree, ginger, and peppermint, to soothe scalp issues like dandruff or congestion.

While Briogeo does recommend this product for irritated scalps, we’d urge some caution since both physical exfoliation and essential oils can be too much for sensitive skin. On the other hand, if your scalp can handle it, exfoliate away.

How to pick the right oily hair shampoo for you

When looking for a shampoo for greasy hair, you still want to keep your hair’s unique needs in mind. Here are a few factors that’ll help you choose. 

Hair type

  • Thick. If your hair is oily and thick, it’s best to go with sudsy, stronger shampoos that’ll distribute easily throughout your hair. Our pick from Paul Mitchell lathers exceptionally well through thick hair. 
  • Thin/fine. With fine and oily hair, you’re often at risk of weighing your hair down and ending up looking flat. Look for volumizing formulas that don’t contain many oils or silicones, as those can weigh you down. Our pick from Rahua is an excellent choice for providing fine hair with more bounce and volume. 
  • Brittle or damaged. It can be challenging to find the proper balance between an oily scalp and bleached or color-damaged hair. We suggest using a product like our pick from Living Proof, which is gentle enough to keep your hair strong while removing excess oil. 

Washing frequency

  • Weekly. Washing your hair just a few times a week is ideal, but when you have oily hair, it’s hard not to wash it every day. Look for a slightly stronger, perhaps even sulfate-based, shampoo that’ll provide a deeper clean, allowing you to go longer in between washes. 
  • Daily. If you’re committed to washing your hair daily, look for a more nourishing, sulfate-free formula. A gentle shampoo will keep your hair clean without stripping away moisture. 

Scalp conditions

  • Dandruff. Dandruff is a medical condition that can get worse by having an oily scalp. A shampoo like Neutrogena T/Sal can help, but make sure to also speak to your doctor about treatment. Once your dandruff is under control, you can maintain your hair with a tea tree shampoo like our pick from Paul Mitchell.  
  • Acne. It’s not uncommon for those with oily scalps to experience acne. If you’re prone to scalp acne, look for a shampoo with some acne-fighting ingredients like our picks from L’Oreal and Neutrogena. 
  • Hair loss. If you’re dealing with hair loss, there are a few solid shampoos for hair growth worth trying. But it’s just as vital to get to the root of the problem by speaking to a doctor since hair loss can be a sign of other health issues. 

FAQs

What shampoo works best with oily hair?

There are many shampoos out there that work beautifully with oily hair, but we think the best of the bunch is the Ouai Detox Shampoo. It offers the perfect balance between cleansing away impurities and oils while keeping the hair in excellent shape. 

What’s the safest shampoo for oily hair?

You can’t go wrong when you choose a shampoo that’s right for your hair’s unique needs. In general, it’s best to go with a more gentle, sulfate-free shampoo that you can use more frequently without having to worry about drying out your scalp. However, sulfate-based shampoos might be necessary if your scalp tends to get exceptionally oily. 

What’s good for oily hair?

While it varies from person to person, we have two general tips to help your oily mane thrive. First, figure out your optimal washing schedule — a few times a week is usually ideal. Second, remember to only apply conditioner to the mids and ends of your hair rather than the scalp. As long as you follow these two tips with the best shampoo for you, your hair should cooperate and ultimately flourish.